COVID vaccine in hands of caregiver

Trinity Health has joined the growing number of healthcare providers requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Taking it a step further, the national health system will require all colleagues, clinical staff, contractors and those conducting business in its healthcare facilities be vaccinated. 

Trinity — which includes 109 “continuing care facilities” (defined as long-term care, assisted and independent living, and affordable housing communities) in addition to 90 hospitals, 18 clinically integrated networks and 13 PACE center programs — employs more than 117,000 employees in 22 states nationwide. Employees at most locations will be required to submit proof of vaccination by Sept. 21, but some locations will set their own deadlines.

“The science has shown us that the COVID-19 vaccine is the single most effective tool in slowing, and even stopping, the spread of the virus,” Dan Roth, M.D., Trinity Health executive vice president and chief clinical officer, said in an announcement Thursday. “As a Catholic Health Ministry — even if we work remotely or do not regularly encounter patients — we view ourselves as caregivers, and it’s important that we do everything we can to end the pandemic and save lives.”

Meanwhile, New England’s largest assisted living operator, Benchmark Senior Living, has notified its 6,000 employees that they will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or risk employment termination. Since May when the policy was announced, the proportion of vaccinated staff members has increased from 56% to  73%, according to Bloomberg.  

And it’s not just providers that are jumping on the vaccine mandate bandwagon. The executive director of the Mississippi State Department of Health recently signed a statewide order requiring all nursing home and assisted living workers to submit proof of vaccination or submit to twice-weekly testing for COVID-19. The order is in effect July 1 through Sept. 30.